On February 11, 1964, the Beatles performed their first American concert at the Washington Coliseum in D.C. As historic as their Ed Sullivan appearance was on national rube tube two days earlier, it can't touch the D.C. gig for anarchic horndog rock 'n' roll. In hindsight, the Fabs were a bit staid on Sullivan, maybe a combo of nerves and rockaphobic audio engineers. At the Coliseum, one gets to hear the Hamburg hellraisers and witness John's wicked bemusement at the white noise of screaming chicks. She was just 17, after all! The house was in the round, forcing the boys to periodically move their own amps so they'd face a different quarter of the crowd. (Even the Beatles ate brown M&Ms.) A videotape of the gig was packaged with also-live footage of the Beach Boys and Lesley Gore and screened around North America that March. Tonight we're privy to it for the first time in 47 years, titled The Beatles' Complete First American Concert, and rock historian Domenic Priore hosts a panel discussion with archivist Ron Furmanek, documentarian Alan Boyd and the ubiquitous Special Guests.
Fri., Feb. 11, 7:30 & 11 p.m., 2011